Hamilton was ready to quit F1 rather than stay in McLaren: Ecclestone

London: Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was considering quitting Formula One rather than staying with McLaren.

Ecclestone, who was a close confidant of Hamilton during his high-profile switch to Mercedes, said that Hamilton was so keen to quit the Woking-based team where he had spent his whole career that he considered taking a break from competing.

According to Ecclestone, McLaren’s executive chairman Ron Dennis had said that he could have kept Hamilton in the team, but chose to let the British ace go, adding that Hamilton did not leave over money issues.

Ecclestone further said that probably Hamilton needed a change from the team from where he had started his career, and decided to move on, thereby joining Mercedes. Ecclestone also said that he does not think that it is out of the question to tip the 2008 world champ to have another shot at the title, saying that Mercedes has got the best engine and one of the best drivers in the world.

Hamilton made a solid start to his new career with Mercedes by finishing fifth at last weekend’s Australian Grand Prix, which was a huge improvement for the team, given their poor end to last year’s campaign, the report added.